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[CPAP] Is nasal pillow mask better than no mask at all

As an FYI, I chickened out of having a septoplasty a year ago but am currently two weeks post op and did absolutely fantastic. The key for me was find a great surgeon who was also very kind and patient with my "million" questions. Also, because of extreme sensitivities to meds, he and the anesthesiologist were very careful about minimizing my medications which I feel greatly helped.

Obviously, if you are happy with your current situation, then of course, you don't need surgery. But if you feel having a septoplasty would improve things, don't let understandable fear get in the way.

Right now, I am still stuffy but I have definitely seen signs of improvement. I anticipate in about two more weeks that things will start to really get better as key restrictions are lifted.

Anyway, right now, I am allowed to use the elan cloth mask but the surgeon doesn't want me using nasal pillow masks until I see him at my next appointment in a few more weeks. Once he clears me, I am definitely going to give the P-10s another shot as when I tried them previously, I felt like I couldn't breath. Hopefully, the surgery will have made a difference as I loved the lightness of the mask.

(03-29-2015, 11:46 PM)snowdrop Wrote: I'll add my two cents...

I'm new to all of this, only having been on CPAP for a couple months. At my sleep study and appt with the RT, everyone pushed for me to try a nasal mask, and I did, but as I suspected it did not work for me at all.

I have a deviated septum, which basically limits my breathing to one nostril (and poor air flow at that). A few minutes of "breathing" with my mouth shut and I felt like I was slowly suffocating.

So, a full face mask is my only option, until I get brave and sign up for surgery.

I use the Simplus and love it. It is comfortable and I don't have to fiddle with it during the night - it stays put. I have sensitive skin but haven't had any trouble with it. I've managed to adjust the straps perfectly to prevent leaks and avoid any red marks on my face in the morning. A great mask and worth trying, in my opinion. It sounds to me like the one you've got isn't a good fit - rather than fight with it, maybe just something else.

Good luck!!

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I tried many masks, and the only one I could get a good nights sleep with is the tap pap.
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If nasal pillow masks didn't exist, I wouldn't be on CPAP.

Between claustrophobia and chronically irritated sinuses, the only mask that worked for me when I was fitted for masks was the P10. When I received my CPAP setup, they had me try the Nuance Pro -- which I took to immediately. Since then I experimented with the P10 again -- however, the Nuance Pro is what I'm most comfortable with as I find it softer on the nostrils (personal preference -- YMMV).

I was a mouth breather before CPAP -- but have not had an issue keeping my mouth shut since starting therapy and have never used a chin strap. I actually credit nasal pillows with opening my sinuses and allowing me to breath through my nose day and night -- which I believe has also improved my dental health.
Lovin' my CPAP since day 1! (January 2015)
If we aren't cleanin' it we're breathin' it!

"Take it as it comes, specialize in having fun"
-- Jim Morrison
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(03-29-2015, 01:26 PM)AshSF Wrote: Another vote for the P10. Resistance is futile.

I am seeing a trend in all these newbie journey in cpap land (mine included). Most start off with a FFM thinking they are mouth breathers. Within a few months, after battling leaks and fixing one problem after another, we realize that less moving parts and less contact area means less leaks and less problems. Then we get to nasal pillows. Then start the war b/w P10, Aloha and Nuance pro. Finally the P10 wins most of these because it has fewer moving parts and adjustments than the others.

In general, if your pressure need is modest (< 15cm), Nasal pillows w/ or w/o chinstrap is an easier battle than FFM and TFFMs.


I'm actually using FFM on low pressure because I leak too much with the minimalist headgear of most nasal pillows. If they made nasal pillows with torture-style headgear, maybe I'd use them!

OP, sorry but I just skimmed the thread. Have you only ever tried one mask? In that case, it's not just nasal pillows you should be considering but other full face masks as well. Try different ones, and monitor your AHI carefully.
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